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Intermediary Services In The Markets For Technology: Organizational Antecedents And Performance Consequences

U. Lichtenthaler, H. Ernst
Published 2008 · Economics

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The external commercialization of technology assets, e.g. by means of out-licensing, has recently gained in importance. Despite this increase in technology transactions, many industrial firms experience major managerial difficulties in outward technology transfer because of imperfections in the markets for technology. Drawing on a resource-based perspective, we therefore analyse whether firms can overcome market inefficiencies by relying on innovation intermediaries such as consulting companies and internet platforms. We test five hypotheses regarding organizational antecedents and performance consequences of intermediary services with data from 152 firms spanning multiple industries. The empirical findings show that industrial firms need to develop internal competencies of externally leveraging technology. External service providers are a complement rather than a substitute for internal activities. Accordingly, the role of technology intermediaries as general facilitators of interorganizational technology transactions has to be questioned. On this basis, the study has major implications for research into intermediaries, technology exploitation, licensing, open innovation and organizational boundaries.
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